UK - Lawyers are warning firms to be wary over government advice to flag-up pension benefits in recruitment advertising.
Lawyers fear the department for work and pensions’ suggestion to highlight pension provision could be seen as a “selling point” when seeking new staff and leave employers open to claims if these benefits are subsequently axed.
Dickinson Dees head of pensions Martin Jenkins said: “If a pension is being sold as a key feature of a job, an employee could argue that they turned down a job elsewhere on the basis of the benefits.”
He stressed that the government was pushing employers into a position their legal advisers would not recommend. He warned an advertisement could be enough to tip the balance at an employment tribunal if a member of staff challenged a firm over pensions entitlement.
The Green Paper pointed out that less than 10% of employers currently refer to pension provision in job adverts.
The government aims to boost this figure and is changing JobCentre Plus systems so they inform job-seekers more clearly about pension arrangements.
But the Federation of Small Businesses believes members should ignore the DWP’s advice.
National pensions spokesman Terence O’Halloran said: “The advice to our members is steer clear of any adverts mentioning pensions.
“There is no sense in any employer putting any reference to pensions in job adverts because it would be making a promise that could be broken.”
And he pointed out smaller firms did not have the means to consult lawyers over what could or could not be said in job ads.
This week's edition of Professional Pensions is out now.
Ben Gunnee reflects on 2018 and talks about the Fiduciary Management trends to keep an eye on in 2019
Lloyds Banking Group secured 630,000 new pension customers last year, according to its 2018 annual results.
Guy Opperman has rejected calls to speed up changes to auto-enrolment (AE) despite increasing pressure to boost contribution rates and overall savings pots.